An Examination of Personality Type Preferences of Male and Female Juvenile Delinquents
Type of Degreedissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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Each year, over two million youth are adjudicated through American juvenile courts (Snyder, 2006). Delinquency is a problem that has a negative impact on families, communities, and society. Annual juvenile delinquency expenditures including law enforcement, incarceration, treatment and prevention programs exceed 2.3 million dollars (Cohen, 1998). Furthermore, the costs associated with juvenile delinquency are not all monetary. Academically, delinquent students read below grade level, score lower on standardized tests than non-delinquents, and are one to several years behind (Foley, 2001). Unfortunately, for many troubled youth, the challenges to succeed become too great, and criminal behavior well into adulthood is often the result. In an attempt to gain a better insight into the delinquency phenomenon, research has tended to focus primarily on external factors such as family, education, socioeconomics, etc. Research which highlights personality as a possible correlate to delinquency among juvenile males and females has largely been ignored. The purpose of this study was to examine the personality type preferences of male and female juvenile delinquents, compare and contrast the personality types of male and female juvenile delinquents, and determine if there are significant differences among the respective groups as measured by the Murphy Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children (MMTIC). Examining the personality type preferences among male and female delinquents may provide information that could lead to better preventive, intervention and rehabilitative programs that are gender prescriptive and better suited to curtail delinquency. The MMTIC was administered to 35 male and 35 female juvenile delinquents who were being held in two separate custodial facilities in Alabama. According to the analyzed data, no statistically significant difference existed among the personality types of male and female juvenile delinquents as measured by the four dichotomous scales (Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving) of the Murphy Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children. Moreover, the results of this study also revealed a relationship between the four letter personality type of male juvenile delinquents and the four letter personality type of female juvenile delinquents.